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USGS - science for a changing world

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Shawn J Nield

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High-latitude regions are experiencing rapid and extensive changes in ecosystem composition and function as the result of increases in average air temperature. Increasing air temperatures have led to widespread thawing and degradation of permafrost, which in turn has affected ecosystems, socioeconomics, and the carbon cycle of high latitudes. Research shows that the distribution of permafrost is heterogeneous in nature and that permafrost responds to a wide range of ecological factors. Here we overcome complex interactions between surface and subsurface conditions to map near-surface permafrost using decision-tree models, field observations, remotely sensed and derived data, and climatic indices. The resultant dataset...
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